MARS Curiosity first photo NASAFacing unfavorable odds, the U.S. scored a huge victory, sticking a landing on the surface of Mars early Monday, setting down the largest and most sophisticated mobile laboratory ever deployed, which is now beaming back photos of the red planet.

NASA ground control engineers flew into a frenzy of high-fives, hugs and cheers after NASA’s Curiosity rover survived a perilous seven-minute plunge to the surface of the red planet.

(WATCH the video of scientists cheering or read the story in the LA Times)

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